There were a number of reasons for the Republican hissy fit about Susan Rice.
First, John McCain is still offended that Rice called him out about his stroll through a Baghdad market, wearing body armor, and accompanied by 100 soldiers, 7 Humvees, 6 Abrams tanks, 5 Bradley IFVs, 4 Stryker armored cars, 3 Black Hawks, 2 Apaches, and a partridge in a pear tree, and made him look like he was clueless war monger, and John McCain is really nothing more than a fit of pique in a suit and tie.
Second, the Republicans wanted to hand Obama a loss after what was a pretty convincing mid-term victory.
Third, and probably most important was that they wanted John Kerry to become Secretary of State, because it would force a special election, and Scotty Brown would get another bite at the Senate apple.
Well, we now have to say that it the Republican victory on this is almost complete, because all reports are that a Kerry nomination is a done deal.
We need someone who can win, and can make sure that Scott Brown is forever tarnished in the eyes of Massachusetts voters. If you look at the conventional wisdom (Politico, the go to source for banalities) Michael Dukakis or Vikki Kennedy as place holders, or Ted Kennedy Jr. and Barney Frank as the appointees and presumptive nominees in the special election. I think that Barney Frank is the obvious choice.
First of all, that whole "place holder" thing does not work. Witness Scotty Brown's victory in early 2010.
(And Michael Dukakis? What the fuck is up with that? The only way that the optics could be worse than appointing him would be if you appointed former Massachusetts State Senate Leader William Bulger's brother Whitey)
What's more, we know that the Beltway chattering class is desperate to derail the meme of an Obama victory, and if the election is even close the meme will be "Oh Noes! Obama needs to give John Boehner a rim job!"
We need someone to destroy Brown's political prospects now and forever. Someone who can call him out and get under his skin, something that Representative Frank excels at.
I really know nothing about Ted, Jr. He seems like a nice guy, and his personal story (cancer as a child) is compelling, but I see no evidence that he would be a good candidate. His background is in investment and charities, and (unlike Elizabeth Warren) he does not appear to have much experience with politics or the legislative process.
Say what you will about Scotty, but he is a very talented politician, and I do not want to throw someone at him who might best be called "fresh meat".